Friday, October 9, 2009

Economics 101 meets the "Wheeler"

I'm always proud of my kids. I'm proud of them on many levels but this summer my two boys really impressed me. Over the past few months, they learned the value of a hard earned dollar. The best part was watching them learn it...more specifically, watching them learn it two different ways.

For the past few years, my oldest, Matthew, has been working for me on the hotel's maintenance staff. He's always been eager to learn and loves getting his hands dirty.

At the beginning of the summer, Cass, my youngest son approached me and asked if he could work at one of the inns. After speaking with the managers, the only position we were hiring for was housekeeping. I wasn't sure how he would respond but was pleasantly surprised when he jumped at the opportunity. He knew that I had started in the industry "cleaning toilets and making beds". He also knows that everyone pays their dues in way or another. Cass was the target of some serious ribbing from his older brother and friends. He took it all in stride..."you're going to look so cute in a skirt and waving a feather duster". Cass wanted to work and was determined to make the most of it. From day one...he loved working! He loved his team members, he loved the sense of accomplishment, and he REALLY loved pay day.

In no time, our entire family had to endure the nightly squabbles at the dinner table, who's job was harder...who's job was more got old quickly. With their new found wealth, discussions quickly turned to what they would spend the money on. The decision was made, both would be purchasing four wheelers. They grew up driving mine and I was confident that they were more than capable of having their own "wheelers" (ya' have to know the lingo). Each boy had a plan...Cass was paying cash and getting an older "fixer upper". Matthew was going for the newer high-end well as securing a loan to make the purchase.

Both love riding their wheelers. Trail riding is abundant around our home situated on top of a mountain. A few short miles through the woods and the "Top of the World" ATV club in Concord, Vermont offers an amazing trail system. Riders from all over New England converge on northern New Hampshire and Vermont for the regions amazing ATV trail riding. New Hampshire's ATV trail system is just 15-30 minutes away. They offer four completely different trails systems ranging from 20 to 120 miles long. The trails are mapped out and allow for amazing day trips into the rugged wilderness.

As summer drew to a close, Cass, a high school freshman, explained to me that he planned to do his part to stimulate our nation's economy. I watched as he made one purchase after another. First a ridiculously huge TV showed up in his room, next an Xbox 360, and by the start of the school year...a quality laptop.

Matthew on the other still making payments and can barely afford gas for his truck never mind his four wheeler.

Cass is now given up on the economy and is saving towards his first vehicle. The moral of the lessons don't always come cheap or easy.

Oh, and by the way, in my humble opinion...neither job is "easy" but housekeeping is SIGNIFICANTLY harder than maintenance!





1 comment:

  1. Hey Brett,

    You might be interested to know about a new ATV Festival that's being held July 10 & 11, 2010 at New Hampshire's newest State Park, 7,500 acre Jericho Mountain State Park in Berlin NH. It's planned as a family event, with children's activities and food vendors in addition to the poker run, guided rides, and demos from manufacturers, local dealers and OHRV clubs. Admission is free. Full info on the event is at

    Jericho Mountain State Park is being developed specifically for off-road riding. The trails provide endless loops through forest, over streams, and past Jericho Lake, with many scenic outlooks and mountaintop picnic pavillions. Park guests can also enjoy swimming, fishing, canoeing, kayaking or picnicking at Jericho Lake.

    Open to the public, but still in development, this integrated recreation complex is designed to become the off-highway recreational vehicle(OHRV) hub in NH's North Country. Over the next several years, more miles added to the trail network—towards a planned total of 136 miles—and more facilities will be added, as well. Future development plans for the park include a ride-in/ride-out campground, several remote tent sites, group picnic pavilions, administrative offices with visitor welcome center and education/training facilities, and improved beach facilities.

    The trails are a mix of green, blue and black trails. Green trails (20% of the total to be developed) have been established for the most part on existing gravel roads that run through most sections of the Park. These trails are considered very easy to ride and recommended for all users. Blue trails (70% of the total to be developed) are designed and constructed in areas where a standard road vehicle could not pass. These trails will wind through wooded areas and through old logging yards following existing logging trials. They will connect at the ends of green trails to create continuous riding throughout the ATV Park. Black trails are to be constructed with natural or man-made obstacles for the more aggressive riders. Obstacles such as rock climbs, boulder fields, stumps and sharp turns, often times in combination with steep slopes, will be used to create these trails.

    Planned special use trails include a Jeep/4 wheel drive loop (that may be used by ATVs, too), gravel pits, a junior trail (limited to 90 CC ATVs or trail bikes), an educational/training area, and mountain biking (non-motorized with access to White Mountain National Forest land).

    Hope we'll see you and your family there!